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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 21, 2014
20:25 EDTFL, FL, ANN, ANN, HIBB, HIBBNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
Notable companies reporting before tomorrow's market open, with earnings consensus, include Foot Locker (FL), consensus 54c; ANN INC. (ANN), consensus 68c; Hibbett Sports (HIBB), consensus 31c.
News For FL;ANN;HIBB From The Last 14 Days
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September 29, 2014
16:03 EDTHIBBHibbett Sports promotes Briskin to Chief Merchant after Rebecca Jones leaves
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September 26, 2014
16:15 EDTFLOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher, regaining much of their losses from yesterday, after GDP data showed the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in more than 2 years during the second quarter. Also helping improve sentiment was the significant earnings beat from Dow member Nike (NKE). ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., second quarter real GDP growth was revised up to 4.6% in the government's third estimate. This was raised from the prior 4.2% growth estimate, though the upward revision had been expected by analysts. The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for September came in at 84.6, which was unchanged from the preliminary print but up from the final August reading of 82.5. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Nike climbed $9.75, or 12.23%, to $89.50 after the company reported stronger than expected results and provided better than expected profit guidance. Following last night's report, a number of analysts reacted positively in notes this morning, including Janney Capital, which upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank upgraded Under Armour (UA) to Buy, citing continued sector strength evidenced in Nike's results. Under Armour gained $2.27, or 3.36%, to $69.82 following the report from the industry leader and Deutsche's ratings action. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Janus Capital (JNS), which surged $4.60, or 41.43%, to $15.72 after the company unexpectedly announced that "Bond King" Bill Gross, formerly of PIMCO, will join as a fund manager this Monday. Afterward, Citigroup upgraded Janus to Neutral from Sell, citing Gross' hiring. Also higher was Yahoo (YHOO), which jumped $1.71, or 4.39%, to $40.66 after activist investor Starboard Value announced it has acquired a significant ownership stake in the company and urged it to explore a strategic combination with AOL (AOL). Shares of AOL also rose $1.58, or 3.68%, to $44.55 following Starboard's public disclosure of its recommendation to Yahoo. Among the noteworthy losers was Finish Line (FINL), which was left out of the Nike-fueled rally in the sneaker sector and fell $4.30, or 14.62%, to $25.11 after the company reported second quarter earnings and revenue that missed expectations. Following Finish Line's Q2 report, the stock and peer Foot Locker (FL) were both downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Also lower were shares of AcelRx (ACRX), which fell $1.31, or 19.49%, to $5.41 and was downgraded to Neutral at Roth Capital after the company said it has to resubmit for FDA approval of its Zalviso drug. INDEXES: The Dow advanced 167.35, or 0.99%, to 17,113.15, the Nasdaq gained 45.45, or 1.02%, to 4,512.19, and the S&P 500 rose 16.86, or 0.86%, to 1,982.85.
13:55 EDTFLFoot Locker, Finish Line downgraded to Neutral at BofA/Merrill
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13:48 EDTFLFoot Locker downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
10:58 EDTFLFinish Line left out of sports footwear rally after earnings miss
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10:31 EDTFLNike runs higher after results, guidance beat expectations
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10:23 EDTFLFoot Locker trades up on the heels of strong Nike earnings
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06:22 EDTFLNike updated FY15 outlook 'surprisingly bullish,' says Citigroup
Citigroup says Nike (NKE) reported "impressive" Q1 results with a "surprisingly bullish" update to FY15 guidance on global momentum and gross margin gains. Citi raised its price target for shares to $93 from $92 and reiterates a Buy rating on the name. The firm views the results as a positive read-through for Foot Locker (FL).
September 25, 2014
15:15 EDTHIBBHibbett Sports management to meet with SunTrust
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07:25 EDTHIBBStephens to hold an investor trip
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September 23, 2014
11:38 EDTANNAscena Retail plummets to 52-week low after results, guidance trail consensus
Shares of Ascena Retail (ASNA), a national specialty retailer of apparel for women and teen girls, are falling after the company's fourth quarter results and fiscal 2015 profit outlook trailed analysts' consensus estimates. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Ascena Retail reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 13c and revenue of $1.18B, far below analysts' consensus estimates of 18c and $1.21B, respectively. Same store sales for the period declined 2%. Looking ahead, Ascena Retail forecast FY15 adjusted EPS of 90c-$1.00 excluding any acquisition-related, integration and restructuring costs that may be incurred during the fiscal year, significantly trailing the consensus of $1.25. The company sees EPS down compared to last year in the first half, but expects growth in the second half. The company sees flat to modest positive total comparable store growth for the year, with Fall flat to down low-single digits, and Spring up low-single digits. EBITA growth for the year is seen in the mid-to-high single digits, with the EBITDA rate flat to up 20 basis points, with 80-100 basis points of improvement in gross margin rate mostly offset by operating expense rate de-leverage. Ascena also sees a net new store increase of 30-40 units, capital expenditures of $350M-$375M and an effective tax rate of 37% vs. 32% in fiscal year 2014. The company sees FY15 double digit growth in depreciation, with projected expenses between $210M-$215M. The company's guidance is based on an ongoing challenging retail environment. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Ascena President and Chief Executive Officer David Jaffe commented that Q4 EPS was "in line" with expectations, despite mixed results across its portfolio and soft traffic patterns. Jaffe said the company is maintaining a conservative outlook for the Fall season, as the company has "yet to see sustained evidence of market improvement." Ascena also said it plans to increasingly focus on adjusted EBITDA as an indicator of underlying financial performance because it normalizes for major changes in non-cash depreciation and tax rates. ANALYST REACTION: This morning, research firm SunTrust lowered its price target on Ascena Retail to $17 from $21 after the company reported results that were weak across the board. The firm believes that the company is making appropriate changes and seems well-positioned for the future, while its brand integrity is intact across divisions. SunTrust reiterated a Buy rating on shares. Another firm, Oppenheimer, said Ascena's retail strategies should help stem margin pressure. The firm added that the profitability of the company's new brands is rising significantly, while its guidance looks conservative. Oppenheimer cut its price target on the shares to $19 from $22, but kept an Outperform rating on the stock. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Ascena Retail fell $2.69, or 16.24%, to $13.85 on nearly four times its average daily trading volume. Earlier in the session, the stock notched a fresh 52-week low of $13.72. Including today's pull-back, the shares have lost approximately 22% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other specialty retailers catering to women include Christopher & Banks (CBK), Chico's FAS (CHS), and Ann Inc. (ANN).
September 18, 2014
09:22 EDTFLBack to school season healthy for footwear, says Sterne Agee
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07:36 EDTFLFoot Locker management to meet with UBS
Meeting to be held in Dublin, Ireland on September 18 hosted by UBS.
September 17, 2014
14:43 EDTHIBBHibbett Sports management to meet with Sterne Agee
Meetings to be held in Milwaukee on September 23 and in Chicago on September 24 hosted by Sterne Agee.
10:00 EDTANNOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
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10:00 EDTHIBBOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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07:32 EDTFLFoot Locker management to meet with UBS
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06:51 EDTHIBBHibbett Sports assumed with a Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray downgraded Hibbett Sports to Neutral after assuming coverage of the stock. Piper believes the company's focus on lower income consumers could be causing a lack of comp store sales growth. It lowered its price target for shares to $43 from $53.

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